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The New Mexico State men's basketball team takes on in-state rival No. 17/20 New Mexico, Saturday, Dec. 15 at 4 p.m. in Albuquerque. The game is available on CBSSN.  The game can be heard on the Aggie Sports Network and KGRT 104 FM in Las Cruces with the 'Voice of the Aggies' Jack Nixon, and the pregame show starts 30 minutes prior to tip. The game is also available in Spanish with Edgar Gardell on Vista 98.7 FM.

New Mexico State Aggies

The Aggies are 5-4 this season after their first road win of the year, a 58-52 decision at South Alabama, Dec. 4 in Mobile, Ala. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings is leading the team with 13.9 points per game. Senior forward Tyrone Watson adds 11.4 points per game, and senior forward Bandja Sy is contributing 8.7 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.

Scouting New Mexico

The Lobos are 10-0 currently following a 65-52 win over Valparaiso, Dec. 8, in Albuquerque. UNM has three players in double figures with junior guard Kendall Williams posting a team-high 13.2 points per game. Junior guard Tony Snell and redshirt sophomore center Alex Kirk are adding 11.7 points per game each.

Series Notes

UNM leads the all-time series 113-95 but the teams split the series during the 2011-12 season. Last year, each team won on the road. NM State won the first meeting of the year, 62-53, Nov. 16, 2011 in Albuquerque, and UNM won the second game, 89-69, Dec. 28, 2011 in Las Cruces.

Previous Game

The Aggies stumbled against New Mexico in the rematch and fell, 89-69, Dec. 28 in Las Cruces. The in-state rivals split the season series. Forward Wendell McKines recorded a game-high 25 points and 15 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the year. Center Hamidu Rahman added a season-high 19 points.

Last Game in Albuquerque

NM State utilized a strong defensive effort to defeat in-state rival New Mexico, 62-53, Nov. 16. This was the first win for the Aggies in The Pit since Dec. 15, 2002. Forward Wendell McKines led the way with 14 second-half points and a game-high nine rebounds. Forward Bandja Sy added 12 points including a late three-point play and critical blocked shot in the final 30 seconds of the game. Center Hamidu Rahman provided 10 points and five rebounds. In the second half, NM State held the Lobos to 19 percent shooting (4-of-21), while the Aggies shot 60 percent (12-of-20).

Aggies Earn First Road Win

NM State collected its first road of the season with a 58-52 victory at South Alabama, Dec. 4. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings led the Aggies in scoring with 13 points. Freshman center Sim Bhullar contributed 12 points off the bench for his third double-digit game of the year. Senior forward Bandja Sy recorded his second career double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds, a career-high mark, along with a vital steal in the last 20 seconds of the game. Sophomore guard K.C. Ross-Miller had nine points including two free throws to seal the game.

National Rankings for the Aggies

The Aggies are currently 19th in the NCAA in rebounding margin (+9.6). NM State has out-rebounded opponents in seven of its nine games. The Aggies are 34th in 3-point field goal defense (27.5 percent) and 44th in field goal percent defense (37.9) as of Dec. 9.

Against the WAC Competition

Currently, the Aggies lead the conference in scoring defense and are only allowing 59.6 points per game and 3-point field goal percent defense (27.5). NM State ranks second in rebounding margin (+9.6) and field goal percent defense (37.9). The Aggies are third in scoring margin (+7.2), field goal percentage (45.5) and rebounding defense (29.7).

Individually, sophomore guard Daniel Mullings ranks sixth in steals (2.00 per game) and eighth in field goal percentage (53.7). Senior forward Tyrone Watson is ninth in field goal percentage (50.8). Sophomore guard K.C. Ross-Miller is fifth in free-throw percentage (84.6), and freshman center Sim Bhullar is eighth in blocked shots (1.33 per game) as of Dec. 9.

Aggies Notch Double-Doubles

NM State has recorded four double-doubles in 2012-13 with junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe leading the way with two double-doubles. His first double-double of the season occurred at Niagara, Nov. 18, with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Nephawe also had a double-double against Louisiana, Nov. 23, with 10 points and a career-high 11 rebounds.  Sophomore guard Daniel Mulling had his first double-double of the season with 21 points and 11 rebounds against Southern Miss, Dec. 1. Senior forward Bandja Sy posted  a double-double with 11 points and a career-high 14 rebounds at South Alabama, Dec. 4.

Crimson and White Defense is Stifling

The Aggie defense has been imposing in 2012-13. NM State is only allowing 59.6 points per game and has held opponents to 60 or fewer points in six of the nine games.

Defense in the Menzies Era

In head coach Marvin Menzies' six seasons, the Aggie defense has continued to improve during his tenure. This year NM State has already held opponents to 60 or fewer points six times. Here' s a look at how this year's team compares to previous squads.

Allowing 60 points or less

2012-13                6 games

2011-12                9 games

2010-11                8 games

2009-10                2 games

2008-09                3 games

2007-08                6 games

Aggies Control the Glass

NM State has consistently out-rebounded opponents this season. NM State is averaging 39.2 boards per game with a +9.6 rebounding margin. The Aggies have out-rebounded teams in seven of nine games.

Ready, Aim, Fire

The Aggie offense is strong with a team field goal percentage of 45.5 percent. NM State has five players shooting over 50 percent this season including freshman center Sim Bhullar (63.2), junior forward Renaldo Dixon (57.1) sophomore guard Daniel Mullings (53.7), junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe (51.1) and senior forward Tyrone Watson (50.8). The Aggies have a better shooting percentage then their opponents in six of nine games. 

Aggie Aggressiveness Leads to the Line

The Crimson and White are continuing the trend of getting to the free-throw line in 2012-13. In nine games, the Aggies are averaging 25.3 attempts per game, 8.7 more attempts than their opponents.

Mullings Fuels the Offense

In his second season, sophomore guard Daniel Mullings has scored in double-figures five times. He recorded his first double-double of the season with 21 points and 11 rebounds versus Southern Miss, Dec. 1. Mullings has had three 20-point games this season and five in his career. His shooting has improved from a season ago with 40 percent or better in every game this season. Mullings is shooting 57.1 percent from the 3-point line. He also has three or more assists in five games.

Watson's Senior Campaign Going Strong

In his final season in the Crimson and White, senior forward Tyrone Watson is taking over a leadership role for the Aggies. He scored a career-high 24 points in the home opening win over Southeastern Louisiana, Nov. 15. He made two 3-pointers in back-to-back games for the first time in his career against Bucknell and Niagara. Watson has scored in double-figures in five of the Aggies' games and has shot 44.4 percent or better in seven contests. The senior is also leading the team in assists with 24 including two five-assist games.

Sy Shoots and Scores

Senior forward Bandja Sy has been in double-digits for the Aggies in five games. In the win at South Alabama, Dec. 4, he posted his second career double-double with  11 points and a career-high 14 rebounds.

Nephawe Anchors the Inside Attack

Junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe has two double-doubles this season. He has shot 40 percent or better in six games.

Young Aggies Set Career Highs

The Aggie underclassmen are contributing to the team early in the season. Freshman center Sim Bhullar has three double-digit games this season with a career-high 17 points against Southern Miss, Dec. 1. Sophomore guard K.C. Ross-Miller had a career-high 11 points versus Louisiana, Nov. 23. At Niagara, Nov. 18, sophomore guard Terrel de Rouen scored a career-high nine points and dished a career-high three assists.

Aggies Beat Southern Miss 68-60

NM State handed Southern Mississippi its first loss of the season with a 68-60 decision, Dec. 1 in Las Cruces. The Aggies stayed perfect inside the Pan American Center with its fourth win of the year. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings recorded his first double-double of the season with 21 points and 11 rebounds. It was Mullings' third 20-point game of the season. Freshman center Sim Bhullar contributed a career-high 17 points and seven rebounds.

Hard Work Pays Off for Mullings

After an off-season of time spent in the gym working on his shot, sophomore guard Daniel Mullings is seeing the rewards. He has started the season with a 5-of-6 shooting performance from the 3-pointer line. Mullings only made five 3-pointers during his entire freshman season. After nine games, Mullings is shooting 57.1 percent from the 3-point line (8-of-14).

Aggies Fall in a Heartbreaker at UTEP 55-54

NM State suffered a tough one-point loss, 55-54, at I-10 rival UTEP, Nov. 28 in El Paso, Texas. Senior forward Tyrone Watson led the Aggies with 13 points. Junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe and sophomore guard K.C. Ross-Miller both added nine points each.

Aggies Roll over Louisiana

NM State downed Louisiana, 79-57, with five players in double figures, Nov. 23 in Las Cruces. Senior forward Bandja Sy had a season-high 16 points. Sy was 6-of-8 from the field including 2-for-2 from the 3-point line. He blocked four of the nine shots, which was a season-best showing.  Senior forward Tyrone Watson and junior guard Kevin Aronis both scored 12 points, which was a personal-best for Aronis. Sophomore guard K.C. Ross-Miller also supplied the offense with 11. Junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe posted his second double-double of the year with 10 points and a career-high 11 rebounds. 

Aggies Cruise to 67-37 Win

The Aggies beat Northern New Mexico, 67-37, in the conclusion of the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project, Nov. 21 in Las Cruces. The Aggies utilized a size advantage and scored 44 points in the paint. Junior forward Renaldo Dixon scored a season-high 12 points, and senior forward Bandja Sy was also in double-figures with 10 points. The Aggies had 12 players see action, and senior forward Tyrone Watson and sophomore forward Remi Barry both added seven points. This was the first time since Jan. 4, 1988 that NM State held an opponent to under 40 points.

Defense Dominates inside Pan Am

The Aggies held Northern New Mexico to just 37 points, Nov. 21. This was the first time since a 41-37 win over Cal State Fullerton, Jan. 4, 1988, that NM State held an opponent to under 40 points. The Crimson and White followed that performance with a season-high nine blocked shots versus Louisiana, Nov. 23.

Aronis Finds Long Range Touch

Junior guard Kevin Aronis is making an impact for the Aggies in his first season. He is tied with a team-high eight 3-point field goals this year, and has made at least two 3-pointers in three games. He scored a career-high 12 points against Louisiana, Nov. 23.

Aggies Falter at Niagara 86-83

NM State let a second-half lead slip away and fell to Niagara, 86-83, in the 2K Sports Classic benefitting Wounded Warrior Project, Nov. 18. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings scored a season-high 26 points, just two shy of his career high, for the Aggies and was named to the all-tournament team. Junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe contributed a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. This was his first double-double since March 2, 2011. Senior forward Bandja Sy was also in double-digits with 10 points. Off the bench, sophomore guard Terrel de Rouen had a career-high nine points, while senior forward Tyrone Watson supplied eight points, six rebounds and five assists.

Mullings Has Season-High, Aggies Fall to Bucknell

The Aggies opened the Niagara Falls subregional of the 2K Sports Classic benefitting Wounded Warrior Project with a 62-49 loss to Bucknell, Nov. 17. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings paced the Aggies with 22 points and team-high six rebounds. Senior forward Tyrone Watson was also in double figures with 13 points. NM State was held under 50 points for only the second time in the Marvin Menzies era. The last time the Aggies scored less than 50 points occurred in a 59-49 loss at Utah State, Jan. 22, 2011.

Aggies Win Home Opener 81-56

NM State defeated Southeastern Louisiana, 81-56, in the 2012-13 home opener inside the Pan American Center, Nov. 15. Senior forward Tyrone Watson directed the Aggies with a career-high 24 points. Watson was 7-of-10 from the field and 10-of-10 at the free-throw line in 24 minutes of action. Freshman center Sim Bhullar was also in double-digits for the first time with 13 points, and he grabbed seven rebounds. Off the bench, junior guard Kevin Aronis added eight points on 2-of-3 shooting from the 3-point line.

Menzies is the Fifth Winningest Coach at NM State

Head coach Marvin Menzies has recorded 107 career wins in five seasons at NM State. He ranks fifth in school history, and directed the Aggies to their third 20-win season in his tenure in 2011-12.

All-Time Winningest Coaches (by victories)

Lou Henson-289

Neil McCarthy-229

Jerry Hines-157

Presley Askew-135

Marvin Menzies-107

Looking Ahead

The Aggies return home for a pair of game before the WAC slate begins. NM State hosts New Mexico, Wednesday, Dec. 19 at 7 p.m. inside the Pan American Center in the rivalry rematch. The Aggies also meet Missouri State, Dec. 22 at 7 p.m. in Las Cruces.

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